remember when I blogged every day for a year?

2019, lifestyle, writing

Hello!

My blogging journey has just passed it’s FIVE YEAR anniversary – in that time I’ve written literally hundreds of blog posts, spent hours at my keyboard and learnt a lot about my writing style and myself in the process.

Blogging is something I literally recommend to anyone – got a niche skill? Blog about it! Want to document your life to look back on with your family in the future? Start a private blog! Just got lots of opinions that you’d like to share with a community? A blog is for you! I genuinely think blogging is for everyone.

And I love blogging – knowing that I can allot maybe an hour twice a week to just spill my heart out through the tips of my fingers and then curate those words and make sure there’s at least one decent picture to go with it all and promote it over my social media channels, I find it so therapeutic. Especially in the last few months where I’ve really solidified what purpose I have my blog for and what I want from it (and that not being a career or audience growth, particularly – though that would be lovely!), my blog is my little safe space of the internet to share my thoughts and feelings and pictures and I really do love it.

But then I think back to 2015 and one of the most… interesting snap decisions I ever made.

On New Years Day 2015 one of my cousins posted a picture on instagram that said ‘page 1 of 365’ and I immediately thought that would be a fantastic series for a blog that I had just launched because every university open day I went to said I should have one… and then I was writing and I was committed to writing 365 blog posts.

This is the year where I was trying to recover my A Level grades from the disaster that was my AS results, I was fundraising to spend a month in Ecuador with Camps International, I moved almost 200 miles away to go to uni, started uni, also happened to meet my now long term boyfriend all whilst writing a blog post pretty much every single day. The more I think about it the more impressed I am with 18/19 year old me – I pre-wrote over 30 blog posts for whilst I was in South Africa and I bossed my A Levels (considering what they were), I suffered some of my lowest lows and lost some important friends whilst meeting the people that were a huge part of my transition to university.

2015 was a huge year for me which is part of the reason I decided to do the blogging series, but the fact that I managed to maintain and successfully write three hundred and sixty five blog posts is just another achievement in itself!

Looking back, a lot of the things I wrote about are things I wouldn’t write about now. I think my style is a lot less formal and more chatty, I have much more confidence in what I want to write about and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about life – not just from blogging but I was 18 when I started my blog and next week I turn 23, a lot changes in five years and I have grown up a lot.

I couldn’t do another year of daily blogging I know that for sure – I don’t think anyone’s creativity really let’s them make good, original content every single day and the quality would have to suffer to make that much content. Even if blogging was your full time job there’s still days with meetings and interviews and business stuff and social stuff that takes whole days and unless you were incredibly organised all the time I think it would be a real challenge for anyone. Now I definitely prioritise my own sanity and the quality of my writing over posting more frequently.

And to be honest? I don’t think I’d want to – having that much time to spend on my blog would be amazing but I’d rather spend all that time making really good content once or twice a week. I’m busy to be honest – I’m going back to uni, I’m going to be working part time, I have a social life and friends to catch up with, I like spending time with my family and I’ve worked so hard on my personal development this year and I’m so proud of myself. My time management and productivity has come on in leaps and bounds – I regularly get all the things on my daily to do lists done because I’ve really refined what works for me and throwing ‘publishing a blog post every single day’ into the mix isn’t something I want to commit myself to.

So what’s the purpose of this blog post? A little bit of self reflection and a delayed pat on the back – I achieved so much in 2015 and it stands as one of the best (and worst) years of my life and I’m really glad I documented it. Daily blogging definitely has it’s place, but I’ve done my time I think!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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700 blog posts later!

2019, creativity, writing

Hello!

When looking for inspiration for my blog this month, I noticed that I’m really close to having published 700 blog posts – this one makes 699 and Saturday’s post will be my 700th blog post! Isn’t that mental?

Especially when I think that in 2015 I published 365 blog posts, so almost half of my blog posts were published in 2015 and let’s just say my style has changed a lot since then!

If you’re feeling nosy – here’s a link to my first post! It’s not formatted very well because I started my blog on blogger and moved to WordPress about 3 years ago. It’s so formal and pretentious and I thought I was being really unique by having a tagline at the end instead of saying goodbye like a normal person.

It’s so strange to look back on that post and know that it was almost 5 years ago – in 5 years I’ve finished sixth form, got a degree, done a whole host of things and still love blogging. Being able to sit down and watch a blinking cursor is somehow liberating, I can just write whatever I’m thinking about and having this platform to share my thoughts, feelings and advice on has been such an incredible creative outlet for me.

I would genuinely recommend for everyone to start blogging – if you want to refine your writing and really figure out your style, if you have a message you want to put out in the world if you want to blog just for yourself and the memories like an online diary I genuinely think it’s a great skill and a wonderful outlet.

And to be able to look back on five years of my life is so special – I’ve documented the day I got my first tattoo, my variety of hair colours, advice on starting university, fashion, beauty, bullet journalling, post-grad life, a bit of travel, my relationship – so much to look back on and I love it so much.

Writing isn’t for everyone – I know that it’s a skill that a lot of people just don’t want to invest their time in. It’s easier to scroll through Instagram or watch videos on YouTube but I really don’t think there’s anything more therapeutic than getting everything out in words, whether it’s in a journal or a blog post there’s such a relief in writing something out. It’s the longest version of writing out a text and not sending it!

I mean, granted there’s a difference between sending an emotion filled text and writing a blog post on the internet for anyone to read.

Nearly 700 blog posts and nearly 5 years really have flown by – I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 5 years and 700 blog posts bring! I wonder what style I’ll be writing in then?

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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“maybe I grew as a person” – my 2017 resolutions

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello,

I was going to make a New Years Resolution post looking back on my resolutions from last year and talking about my resolutions for 2018 but I know for a fact that a post consisting of both of those things would end up with a blog post that’s about three thousand words long. I’m a very reflective person and I like checking in on my own progress so that’s what this is.

Should I publish this on the internet? Probably not, I don’t know if anyone else is interested in this. But I like being able to hold myself accountable and I don’t know if anyone else would maybe like to see if I’ve stuck to what I said I wanted to do in both my 2017 resolutions post and my mid-year check in post!

For context, I split my goals into three sections – personal, creative and university.

My personal goals:

  • being healthier
  • exercising more
  • focusing on my dental hygiene
  • becoming a morning person
  • be more careful with money

Being healthier and exercising more didn’t go well – I’m the heaviest and unfittest I’ve ever been and it makes me very sad so we won’t dwell on it, but it won’t be a surprise that this appear on my 2018 list too! Dental hygiene was a mixed bag – I’ve come to the conclusion that I just hate brushing my teeth and I will never enjoy it, it will always be a sensation that I just don’t enjoy. But I have got better and I’m still working on my dental hygiene despite hating it so much.

Becoming a morning person has been much more successful though! Having 9am starts for most of this semester at uni has really helped but I naturally wake up between 7am and 9am (depending on what my schedule has been like – during a busy week, I wake up earlier and in the holidays or a quieter week, a bit later). At the moment I’m not pressing myself to be up too early because uni has really taken it out of me, but when I’m properly back in Southampton for uni next year I’m going to get back to working on this. I feel like this is my most sustainable change I made this year.

And the money goal was really successful too – I’ve been lucky enough to come into a couple of fairly large sums of money and my family have recommended to me that I use that to get out of my overdraft and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted that money to go back into something more memorable so I put that into my travel saving fund and worked on getting out of my overdraft on my own. So when loan arrived in September and I paid rent and my bank account was still positive and I’ve never been happier than closing my overdraft and knowing that all the money I had was mine. I was so proud and I’m so glad that the only debt I’ll have leaving university (‘glad’ ish, I guess) will be my loan.

So personal goals, a big ‘ish’ but feeling positive.

My creative goals:

  • keep learning about photography
  • maintaining my blog and YouTube channel
  • make sure to keep trying out new content
  • start writing again
  • find new creative outlets

Taking advanced photography taught me a lot about thinking about photography and how good photos can be much simpler than all the daunting equipment and scary editing software. I’m excited about the prospect of continuing to learn about photography and I’m saving for a camera that I think will really enable me to explore more creatively.

Maintaining my blog and YouTube channel was a mixed bag too – they were okay for a while, I dipped in and out of both throughout the year but these last four months has just been radio silence. I’m working on getting that back – exhibit A is the blog posts and videos I’ve been making in the latter half of December and I’m really hoping to maintain this when I go back to uni but we’ll see, the biggest aim for 2018 is taking the pressure off.

In terms of trying out new content most of it for me was making sure I didn’t feel like I was churning out the same shit that every other blogger desperate for brand deals and pretty instagrams was. I didn’t necessarily ‘try out new content’ but I’ve been particularly thoughtful about what I’ve made and I’m pretty pleased with it to be honest!

In terms of writing again – I actually kind of have! Yes, it’s fanfiction but I’m 16,000 words and 50 pages into it and I’m writing. Right now, where I’m very focused on my degree and making content online, realistically working on a personal work of fiction isn’t something I have the mental capacity for so what I’m writing is 1) much more manageable, 2) keeps me writing creatively and 3) is something that I really enjoy, like a lot. And I haven’t found any new creative outlets other than perhaps interior decorating the house I moved into in July so this project works for me!

My university goals:

  • stay motivated
  • stay organised
  • keep trying new things
  • keep putting yourself out there
  • work experience

I feel like I could write a whole blog post about my university story – the long and short of it is no one in my sixth form believed I was capable of anything and I fought through the battle that was my A Levels on my own whilst being bullied by my maths teacher so to think that I finished second year with a grade I was so happy with and being treated as a ‘High Achiever’ by my university just blows my mind.

So yes – I stayed motivated, I stayed organised and I kept trying new things in the stories I covered and the roles I took on within my course and outside of it. I put myself out there in ways I never thought I was capable of, even taking on editorial roles and too many commitments outside of my course but I got through it. In the end. Ish.

And work experience might be the most successful part of 2017 – two weeks at BBC Three, a week at NASS festival, a week working at Reading festival (one of my first paid freelance jobs!) and a week at Sky Entertainment which actually helped me figure out a three year plan (let me know if you want a whole post about it?) and I feel like my university goals were the most successful part of my 2017.

Just looking back at what I asked of myself a year ago and knowing that that version of me didn’t even imagine what she would have to go through and what she achieved is genuinely making me really emotional. It’s been a huge year and this is the first year that I can remember that I look back and feel proud and I’m excited for next year, it’s a really nice feeling. I’m motivated now to get the same out of 2018!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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